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USDA TO PARTICIPATE IN NORTH AMERICAN ANIMAL DISEASE EXERCISE

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will participate in Equinox 2005, an emergency response exercise based on a hypothetical foot–and–mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in North America. Equinox 2005 is part of an ongoing series of FMD exercises of the North American Animal Health Committee—an Emergency Management Working Group (EMWG) made up of the United States, Canada and Mexico. The committee was formed because the potential impact of an outbreak on trade and agriculture extends throughout North America. The United States, Mexico and Canada jointly share FMD response resources and have developed a combined approach for FMD control measures. APHIS leads the U.S. participation in the EMWG. The intent of the North American exercise program is to provide realistic training on FMD emergency response plans, to practice the executions and to evaluate the results. The program was designed to incorporate scientific rigor and international policy unique to emergency response planning for foreign animal disease outbreaks. Full Story

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